Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Re: My feelings and thoughts on the Eido Shimano scandal itself:

I'd covered it in detail here.  And I mentioned it  here, in mentioning the passing of Robert Aitken.   And I first discussed it, and my relationship with the ZSS here.  So, on the Eido Shimano scandal itself, I've already spoken; that's not primarily what the post below was about.

In the post below I  was admittedly weaving around some disparate ideas, among them the relationship between various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, blogger biases, and the Dalai Lama.  However the main point of that post is quite simple: the issue of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan diaspora's plight is in a similar category of the Eido Shimano scandal in that they both proceeded unchecked due to inherent conflicts of interest. A subsidiary point in the post is that Western Buddhist bloggers would do well to examine these issues and examine their own biases in these issues, and probe deeper.  If  I've made any factual error I'm happy to be shown what it is and correct it.

I hope that clears things up a bit.


Petteri Sulonen said...

So is the great financial crisis of 2008. So is the BP oil rig disaster in the Gulf. So are the shenanigans of Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan. So is the chronic misrule in Russia. And so on ad nauseam.

These, and the issues you're raising, are all worth discussing. It just makes no sense to me to try to couple any particular two of them together; in fact, doing so just weakens the attempt to discuss any of them.

Mumon said...


Good points. Only they have less to do with Buddhism per se.

I tied them together because these issues were in my mind all around the same time.

But I'll try to write more focused in the future. Thanks again.

Kyle said...

I think it is quite difficult to be completely objective about matters in which we have a direct connection with, emotionally or otherwise. Like my anti-Chinese rants are skewed by my dislike of the Chinese government and its communist ideology. LOL I'm probably one of the only 'western buddhists' that supports the Dalai Lama because of my dislike of communism, and not because of my admiration of his media attention.

Shimano did some very bad things, but any reflection on the US Rinzai community is misguided. By all accounts he was an exceptional teachers, unfortunatly that usualy only extended to his male students.

David said...

Peterri Sulunen put it better than I did and I’m glad he did because it made me laugh (Eido Shimano’s dick).

You write, “Why is the US Rinzai hierarchy (rightly, as they admit) criticized for being lax about Eido Shimano's issues but the Dalai Lama invariably gets a free pass.” Where are all the women the Dalai Lama had sex with? That’s why it’s apples and oranges.
You link to some guy who is political scientist, and who as far as I know has absolutely no qualifications to discuss Tibetan Buddhism in depth. This old charge of feudalism and slavery in old Tibet was found to be fraudulent years ago. It’s a long story and it has to do with things written about Tibet by Westerners over 70 years ago that were clearly wrong but somehow got stuck in some people’s minds. Now it’s just the Chinese propaganda that you seemed to have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

If some folks want to subject the Dalai Lama to hero-worship that’s problem, and since I don’t do that, it doesn’t bother me. To call the Dalai Lama a dictator, while supporting the side of the Chinese government, which is still pretty much a totalitarian regime does not make any kind of logical sense to me.

I agree that there are biases. But the situation of Shimano and that of the Dalai Lama are so dissimilar that to lump them together does not, in my mind, clear things up, rather it just muddies the already murky waters.

Mumon said...


I hear you. I do wish these guys (Chinese and Tibetans) could figure things out amicably. The Chinese Communist Party of course will continue to have a monopoly on political power. And it's a double-edged sword that hurts and helps. (The US's presence on the world stage in recent years ain't nothin' to write home about either. Our whole infrastructure is crumbling here and one party is in collusion with business interests and the other is basically losing its marbles.)


Tell it to the Dorje Shugden initiates.

Moreover, "it's old news" didn't work for Eido Shimano, and it doesn't work for the Dalai Lama, just as it doesn't work for Leonard Peltier.

Technically the Dalai Lama is the leader of an insurgent movement. That remains. As does the fact that he does not have separation of religion and government in his exile organization. Regarding the issue of serfdom in Tibet, it's been pretty well documented.

Mumon said...


One minor quibble: I'd hardly call the Chinese government of today "totalitarian." That puts it in the category of North Korea or the Stalinist Soviet Union or Kampuchea. It's hardly that at all.

It is an authoritarian government. That's true. Which needs to improve its human rights record and the rule of law.

But people there with the same level of education and income distribution percentile know more about what's going on in the world than their counterparts here, I've found pretty much uniformly.

Chinese production of magazines by non-government related entities has been growing exponentially.

Kyle said...

Yes, you are quite right Mumon. Let us just hope they continue in this direction of liberalizing personal freedoms. The Chinese have so much to offer the world, I just think they are being bottled up by their own government.